BY CHANTELLE NAVARRO
Homicide Watch Chicago
Janice Coleman cared for more than her nine children and 24 grandchildren — she also frequently helped relatives and neighbors, family said.
“If she wasn’t taking care of the kids, she was taking care of the elderly in our family,” said Coleman’s niece, Dornise Pewett.
Coleman, 48, was stabbed to death during a Feb. 8 gathering inside a home in the 11300 block of South Parnell Avenue in the Roseland community, authorities said.
Prosecutors claim 57-year-old Chris Moore fatally stabbed Coleman when she attempted to leave with another man. Moore is being held in Cook County Jail on $1 million bond while he awaits trial for murder.
Pewett described Coleman as a caring person who was always helping others.
“It didn’t matter if she didn’t know you. She would still take you in with a smile and cook for you,” Pewett said.
In addition to cooking, Coleman enjoyed telling stories with family members, dancing and braiding hair, Pewett said.
Coleman would always use a term of endearment towards others to make them feel loved, according to Pewett, who said the last time she spoke to Coleman she offered to do her hair.
“She had a gift with her hands,” Pewett said.
Pewett said Coleman would help people in the neighborhood who needed it most.
“She treated everyone equally,” Pewett said. “She didn’t see your handicap, she just saw you as a person.”
Assistant Public Defender Kelly McCarthy noted Coleman’s alleged killer is a war veteran on disability from a previous “attack on his life.”